Austrailia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, United States discussed on Pro Rata
Robert and takes us ten minutes to get. Yeah you smarter on the Clinton of Tech Business Politics. I'm Dan primack today. Show Softbank Shaft Startups and trump's twitter threats but first Australia on on fire so sometimes you hear Democrats say that America is the only country where climate change is a debate rather than an accepted fact. But that's untiringly true. It's also been hotly contested issue in Australia. Where current Prime Minister Scott Morrison won election last year with a coal positive climate change skepticism message? That sounded a lot like president trump with whom he has something of an international bromance but Morrison may soon have no choice but to change course as his. The country is in flames after its hottest and driest year on record. Nearly fifteen million acres have burned so far twenty. Four people are dead. Thirteen hundred homes have been lost with countless. More threatened and local colleges estimate that half a billion animals are dead and speaking of animals. Listen to this so that's not an actual siren. That's an Australian Magpie type of bird that mimics sound and and right now it's not hearing much else to mimic. Obviously what's happening in. Australia is a human and environmental catastrophe and comes on the heels of the two thousand eighteen wildfires in California. Yeah and last year's massive burn of the Brazilian rainforest all three cases involved countries were leaders tend to treat. Climate change is a punchline but the question now for Australia is if the flames have finally reached the political tipping point. If fifteen seconds we'll go deep with the Washington Post Andrew Friedman but first this actually is chief technology elegy correspondent enough free chairs breaking news and analysis on the most consequential companies in players in tech from the valley to DC. Subscribe to get smarter faster at sign up dot axios DOT COM and now back to the podcast. We're joined now by Andrew. Friedman the deputy weather editor editor at The Washington Post tweets talk a little bit here. There have been wildfires before in Australia. These are obviously much larger. What can we attribute just the breadth arrests in the ferocity of this too so Australia has never really been as hot and dry at the same time as they have been recently twenty? Nineteen with fair how this is the year. December was one of their top two hottest ever month. It had their to hottest days ever on record for the country three in December so you've had just tinderbox dry conditions throughout the vegetation in southeastern Australia in particular and that really primes the situation for any spark that comes along could create some sort of explosive fire development speaking any spark. We don't have any stories or any explanation yet and what technically started this right whether it be lightning striker camper lighting a campfire. We don't actually know that yet do we well. We know that are thin has been involved is suspected in in several of the fires which is not all that unusual is that what's behind this. Huge outbreak affiars. No but that is involved in in potentially intentionally sitting a believes a couple of these fires others are lightning others are started by other fires themselves. There's a term in Australia in some some of these warnings. That is actually really frightening. And I hadn't seen it before which is known as an ember attack where in a period of strong winds some of these fires I have been sending out burning embers miles out ahead of the fire and what that does is essentially 'cause spot fires ahead of it to the can then turn into major fires and then I can merge into what you'd call Mega Fire Jonathan Swan. WHO works here at Axios in this from Australia? He texted me this morning. said that what he's hearing from family and friends is one of the big issues there and it's not surprising is firefighters are simply do not know how to handle something. This large is just beyond their scope of training. What happens next here? Is there a way we'd actually stop these outside of pray for rain outside of pray for rain. No it's likely that these fires and this week is actually a better week weatherwise otherwise but outside of appreciable rainfall. This is not gonNA end anytime soon with. They're hoping for is that they won't get many any more days of extreme to catastrophic wildfire risk. They're not gonNA put these out they've been asking for more aerial support board. They've been asking for more people to come to the front lines. Australia has a lot of volunteers in their firefighting force. More than the United States does ah the. US has both a federal force and state forest and there have been some wildfire. Firefighting planes flew in from California to Australia Australia. Although one of the weird things is that because of Australia's fire season started so early California's on fire at the same time that South Eastern Australia. Israeli was so that they weren't able to call in out from the companies and the people that they normally call in help from from your perspective. How's The Australian government responded from a qualitative basis has it been doing qualitative basis the federal government meaning? The government led by Scott. Morrison has been a disaster. I've been talking to people in Australia. Triumphs of various political persuasions. And they're telling me you know he's not shown a proper amount of empathy. He arrived in an area That had been decimated by fires. The people basically heckled him to the point where he got back in his motorcade and laughed. And you guys actually the Washington Post for folks who want to see if there's actually a video go up on your side. Yeah there is and you know if you look on the Hashtag Scott for marketing which is kind of a lot of Australians. derisively call him because is he used to be the head of Tourism Australia. You'll see a lot of kind of the waste. They think about him now. It's complicated because Morrison was reelected somewhat. Recently he is very pro co-development he is very. I don't know that I'd call him at climate denial. He's more skeptical of a lot of the mainstream science ants on climate and denies a lot of the linkages between climate change and these fires. So He's vulnerable on two points. He's vulnerable on not giving enough resources to firefighters our fighters and not being apathetic and being caught on vacation in Hawaii when this all started shamed into coming home and only coming home one day early the state governments are really the ones that lead fire response in Australia and they've been much more on the ball and then the people that Australians are into for leadership. But you know when I've asked. Australians what they figure Morrison Right now. They've basically said he doesn't speak for me when we think about the big California for new wildfires from two years ago that didn't seem to create any change in the political climate debate in the US. When we see what happened in Brazil that does not appear at least to have made any political impact yet in Brazil? Or maybe it's too early. Do you believe from what you've seen so far and says some crystal ball gazing and some foreign policy. I guess what we're seeing in Australia. Failure is that going to actually change the conversation Australian make Australia more like Europe than the US at the very good question. I think that this could be the turning point Australia. Just because this is so big and so dramatic in terms of the visuals and so many people are suffering and everybody knows somebody who is affected however you also have the influence of the Murdoch owned press empire in Australia And they are really striking the tone similar to what president trump said about California. When he said you know they're not raking the forest enough and in Australia Charlie They're talking about how they are not doing prescribed burns because the environmentalists won't let them and they're not you know thinning out the forests and lobby lobby enough so there are some similarities to how this played out in the United States and the last three or four prime ministerial elections in Austrailia have turned on climate change to some degree and I wouldn't be surprised if the next one did. We're expecting a pretty large protests protests mounted the end of this week in Australia by those who are want climate action so it remains to be seen. I mean I'm some of these a little bit pessimistic. Anything anything is going to change. In countries that have really entrenched climate denial interests and such fossil fuel based economy and Friedman deputy weather editor of The Washington. Post thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for having me my final two right after this. There's more news out there than ever before but these days it's harder than ever to find it and to know what to trust axios. AM takes effort out of getting smart by synthesizing. The ten stories. That will drive the day and telling you I. They matter subscribe at sign sign up dot axios DOT COM and now back to the podcast that was done for my final two and Softbank the Japanese investment giant known. It's big bets. That's in companies like Uber Slack. And we work. What's new today is an axios report that Softbank his walked away from investing in several startups after having submitted term sheets and telling the companies that delays were only procedural this matters for companies not only because they lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars from Softbank but also because they lost an enormous Chris amount of time which is one of their most valuable resources and for Softbank? It's a huge reputational hit. That will make it harder to invest in highly sought after companies. So why is this happening. I think there are two theories one is that Softbank simply doesn't have the money or at least as much money today as it thought it would have. When it signed the term sheets? The firm's been trying to raise its second one hundred Billion Dollar Vision Fund but today has been unable to hold even a I close from outside investors. The other theory is that this is shell shock. From the we work situation with Softbank recalibrating its philosophy and risk appetite either way it is a very bad look and finally president trump over the weekend use twitter to publicly threatened Iran including warning that the US could target cultural sites in apparent violation of international law. This is prompted the usual calls for twitter to pull the tweets and Orban Orban trump believing that his threats violence are in violation of the company's terms of service twitter though isn't playing along with the critics instead relying on a policy of leading political article leaders tweet things that normally wouldn't allow other people to tweet the tricky part here. Though is the last year twitter publicly announced the policy that could let it add warnings tweets it deems to violate its rules so keep them up but put a little warning sticker so far however twitter has an added any such warning to tweets from trump. Or anyone else. And we're done vic. Thanks for listening. It's producers. Tim Show Naomi Shaven have a great national shortbread day. And we'll be back tomorrow with other pro rata podcast..